Sunday, 13 January 2013

M25: My First WP8 App - Part I

I will be publishing my first Windows Phone 8 into the Windows Store in the next day or so.  It is called M25.  For those outside the UK, the M25 is the London Orbital motorway.  Like a huge wagon wheel, the M25 circles London with spokes running to the heart of the city.  It is the UK's busiest motorway, and some say in all of Europe.

So why create an app for a motorway?

For three years I traveled the M25 every day, and every time you plan to get on it you wonder what state it's in.  My carpooling passenger and I would have a routine when leaving the office; checking various web sites to determine whether we should even get on the M25.  Anyone who frequents the M25 has their own horror story of spending hours on the M25 parking lot.

I know what you're going to say - but, surely any decent SatNav app is going to tell you the traffic conditions of the M25 - and you would be correct.  But, the point is, I know how to get home.  And maybe I don't want to tie my phone up running Nokia Drive, when all I really want to know is happening on the M25.

What I really want is a lightweight app that is going to give me current, accurate traffic conditions for my section of the motorway.  I don't want to have to wade through traffic data about other motorways or even other parts of the M25 (the M25 is about 115 miles in length).  I'm just interested in what is happening between junctions 13 and 6.  So, I'm looking for the ability to filter traffic data from the volume of information pushed out by the Highways Agency.

Here's what I came up with:
So, that was the motivation for creating this app.  In subsequent articles I will discuss some of the issues I encountered, both technically and functionality.

I'm fully aware that this app is not going to set the world afire.  Developing it was as much for my benefit as it may be for others.  That said, I do think that it may prove valuable to those who wrestle with the M25 on a daily basis.

1 comment:

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